Thousands of college students moved into their dorms this week in Washtenaw County. 89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan stopped by Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan as many of the students experienced this special moment in their lives with family members.
Incoming freshmen students at Eastern Michigan University were greeted with the school's “fight song” as they checked in for move-in day. Over 2,300 students will move this weekend. Amber Bliss from Clio, Michigan is among them.
"I’ve checked-in, I’ve unloaded all of the stuff out of my car. It’s been kind of hectic, overwhelming a little bit, but I figured it out," said Bliss.
As usual, one of the best parts of move-in day is seeing all the excited parents suddenly turn into the fictional superhero The Hulk as they unload the car. Karen Wilkes from New Hudson helped her stepson move in.
Karen: We have so much stuff, well, the most important thing is his chair. We have a lot of toothbrushes, his mother is a dental hygienist so I think she brought toothbrushes for the entire floor.
Jorge: There’s like five in there right?
Karen: There’s like ten. So I think he’s going to have one for every day. So we have entirely more stuff than we need, I anticipate that we will be taking a good amount of it back home with us.
Some of the students told me they don’t really know exactly where they see themselves in four years but are very excited to start a new chapter in their lives. Chyna Riley from Saginaw is among them.
"I’m really looking forward to networking with people," said Riley.
Riley was joined by several family members, and I’m not joking when I say they each carried plastic containers filled with her shoes. Boonsom Riley is the mom.
Jorge: You’re holding more shoes, I just noticed that.
Boonsom: Yes, more shoes, comforters, pillows, yes.
Jorge: The essentials for college, I guess right?
Boonsom: Shoes are important to her.
Jorge: How exciting is it for you to be here today with her?
Boonsom: Very exciting. This is actually my last one out of the five that went to college.
The sound of carts rolling into residence halls can also be heard this week at the University of Michigan. Nearly 10,000 students are moving into the dorms. That includes freshman Madrid Spain from Oak Park, who is ready to face all the challenges of being away from home.
"It’s going to be a little nerve-racking because I have to clean by myself, do all the laundry. But it’s a fun experience because you find your independence and you learn how to be in the real world," said Spain.
Spain’s move-in day was a family affair. She had three generations of women in her family with her--her grandmother, mom, and younger sister. Grandma Silvia Jamison got emotional during the move-in.
Silvia: I’m trying to be a little stronger.
Jorge: But it’s a good thing.
Silvia: But I miss her already, and she won’t be home until Thanksgiving, so that’s a long time for me.
Spain’s mom Leslie is excited about the opportunities her daughter and the rest of the students moving in will have.
"There are so many opportunities available. Opportunities that our minds can’t even imagine. I hope that each and every one of them have a successful tenure here," said Leslie Spain.
Meanwhile, 13-year-old Makayla Cunningham is not ready for college just yet, but helping her older sister Madrid Spain move in was eye-opening for her.
"This motivates me a lot because now. I have to step up my game now because my sister is going to the U of M," said Cunningham.
Both Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan say they embrace students coming back to school because it brings more life to their communities.
Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support. Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.
— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him email@example.com